Horne Lake Hub
Horne Lake is a popular cottage and recreation destination, ~7kms in from the east coast of central Vancouver Island. Last week I finally got around to a longstanding plan to spend some time looking into connecting backroads routes to/from the west (interior) end of the lake.
I spent a few days following possible tracks, with some deadends, and ended up with a handful of routes SW to Port Alberni, and a new option from Fanny Bay to the NE.
I had brilliant blue early summer skies, grand riding and some first rate camping (check out the pic below from Horne Lake Caves Regional Park).
Horne Lake has an east - west orientation and is ~7kms long. Watersports are a big deal in season, though the west end campgrounds have issues with 'swimmers' itch' from waterfowl transmitted nasties in the shoreline grasses (swimming off docks or boats is not a problem).
Check out this link for info on the famous (and very worthwhile) Horne Lake Caves, also at the west end of the lake, recognized in 2017 as one of Canada's 25 best activities for kids.
The above pic was from roughly 400m up, along an old track overlooking Port Alberni from the north. Shortly after, the route descended (yahoo!) and got pretty rough, but came out just NW of town behind McLean Mill historic park which looked so amazing I'm making plans to head back and take my parents there.
Here's a map with the routes that panned out. I had no idea there were so many backroad connections spinning off Horne Lake.
One route took me around the south shore road from the east end of Horne Lake. This less travelled route, which does not make it all the way to the west end of the lake, has lots of newer and impressive looking cottages and homes. Here's a view from the south shores, looking north.
Once I finally made my way to Port Alberni, I headed home to Courtenay via the back route up behind Comox Lake. Below is a final pic from along the SW shores of Comox Lake.
It was a glorious trip, perfect weather, still too early for serious bugs, great backroads riding and some useful new connections for touring the central Island. Hah - summer is here!